Horror of Heffalump
The guardians were called into the office of Kevaver Trannith, one of the adepts who handles jobs for the Tolston Collective. Kevaver gave them information regarding the town of Heffalump’s Hollow, and explained that the town constantly blames its troubles on Đåk’fölg’gn’nß because in the history of the town (as written in the Book of Heffalump), Đåk’fölg’gn’nß killed Mifraz, the most famous person to hail from their humble town. Kevaver explained that the guardians were being sent to Heffalump’s Hollow to handle the problem of a house that was supposedly haunted by Đåk’fölg’gn’nß, but probably wasn’t.
The guardians geared up and departed for Heffalump’s Hollow to check on the haunted house. There, they were greeted by a scarred hafling at the gate, who brought them to Seaster Daleborn, the town elder. Seaster told them the house was scaring everyone, and that they needed to do something about it, but refused to accept that anything other than Đåk’fölg’gn’nß could be the cause. After a little bit of research in the Book of Heffalump, the guardians made their way to the house.
The house certainly didn’t look friendly. It was covered with pictures of a black gauntlet surrounded by yellow petals, and an apparition floated in front of one of the second story windows. They called out to the ghost, who warned them they would be sent to eternal sleep if they didn’t leave immediately. This threat was amplified by the dead human on the path to the front door. Dermus decided he was going to try to climb on the outside to look in the window guarded by the ghost, but he drew a little too much attention and a small figure inside blasted him with a cone of fire which left him barely hanging onto the edge, and barely hanging onto life.
After climbing down, the guardians bickered about how they should enter the building. Duck was all for entering through the front door, while Dermus and Iyad wanted to explore the tall grass at the side of the house. Iyad and Oric tied a rope between them and entered the grassy area. No sooner was this done than they were ambushed by flowers with skulls on each petal. They dispatched the plants, but not before Iyad was beaten by the fence in an effort to wake him.
The guardians eventually decided to go in through the front door. Before going too far in the house, however, Dermus pulled up the rug to reveal a pit hidden beneath it. They left the rug in the foyer and went in to the next room—a dining room which was set with ten place settings. Gaunt warned the guardians that the table was magically trapped, and he was proven correct when they attempted to leave only to have the silverware fly off the table toward them. Gaunt grabbed the rug from the foyer and used it to trap the flying silverware, while Duck and Oric tossed alchemist fire underneath.
The guardians then proceeded to make their way into the kitchen, at which point they discovered that the oven had been rigged to spout flame at those passing by. After the first activation, Gaunt disabled it for easy passage. Further exploration then turned up food and other supplies in the storage basement, which seemed unusual for a supposedly abandoned house.
Rather than venture upstairs, the guardians then decided to check out the final unexplored room on the ground floor. A little reconnaissance through the outside window showed a sunroom with skeletons on the lounge chairs. The skeletons weren’t moving, so the guardsmen decided they would open the door slightly and see if Oric and Iyad could use mage hand (Core Rulebook, pg. 306) to remove the swords from the skeletons’ grasps. Upon so doing, the skeletons rose and attacked them, provoking the guardians to crowd into the small room to fight them. They were then surprised when the death of each skeleton resulted in massive explosion, quickly turning the room into a fiery death trap as well as a skeleton ambush. Three people went under at some point during the fight, but Iyad’s healing abilities kept everyone alive.
At this point, most of the guardians headed upstairs while Dermus and Gaunt Lawson went outside to try to climb in through a window. Upon heading upstairs, the guardians found a trio of redcaps waiting for them. The fight was looking grim—especially after Lior charged in, only to be taken out by the swipe of a redcap’s sword—when Duck fell through a hole left by one of the redcaps. However, a well-timed charm person (Core Rulebook, pg. 254) spell—cast by Iyad on the “cleric” of Đåk’fölg’gn’nß—turned the tide for the guardians, leading them to victory.
Upon interrogation of the redcaps, the guardians discovered that the haunting had been at the behest of a number of men in brown robes, paying top gold piece. The redcaps obliged, despite being unsure who the men were. Inspection of the ghost revealed it to be a major image (Core Rulebook, pg. 311) produced by a machine that could read messages from inserted parchment and pass them along to the image. So, in the end, the guardians went home successful, having ended the threat to Heffalump’s Hollow.